On a crisp October morning in Columbia, Missouri, Lt. Col. Ferrill A. Purdy got to pat the belly of the plane he flew in combat during WWII.
The reunion was made possible thanks to author Michele Spry and a $5,000 donation by Veterans United Foundation, the charitable arm of Veterans United Home Loans.
After writing a children’s book about the WWII Veteran, Spry found the plane Purdy flew in combat at Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California.
She raised $28,000 to have the Corsair F4U-1A flown to Columbia to be reunited with its old pilot.
"To see this aircraft come to Columbia to see him gives you goosebumps,” Spry says.